Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dad guns down two sons, sons' mother (Paterson, New Jersey)

Dad EDELMIRO GONZALEZ shot and killed his 7-year-old son. The 11-year-old son and the boys' mom were also shot, and are in critical condition. An off-duty cop shot and killed dad--thank you, sir, for taking this guy out before he killed anybody else. (And thank goodness we have no quotes from the neighbors saying what a "great guy" dad was for once.)

When is the carnage going to stop?

Man guns down his sons and their mother in Paterson, killing a 7-year-old
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Last updated: Saturday November 28, 2009, 7:59 PM
The Record

PATERSON — A man shot his two boys and their mother in front of dozens of horrified witnesses Saturday morning, killing the 7-year-old and wounding the 11-year-old before being shot and killed by an off-duty officer, police said.

The 11-year-old boy, Edryn Gonzalez, and his mother, Johanna Gonzalez, 31, were in critical but stable condition Saturday night at St. Joseph’s Hospital, according to Paterson Police Det. Lt. Ron Humphrey.

Adrian Gonzalez, 7, was lying dead in a driveway when police responded to one of the city’s major thoroughfares at approximately 8:53 a.m. His body, later covered with a yellow tarp, remained there for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon, just feet away from the debris-strewn railroad tracks that run through the Eastside.

Police said Johanna Gonzalez was dropping her sons off at her mother’s Broadway apartment and was about to drive away to her job at the Garden State Plaza when her estranged husband, Edelmiro Gonzalez, approached her green SUV.

Edelmiro Gonzalez then shot Adrian once and chased Edryn down the driveway toward the rear of the building, where he shot him in the neck, Humphrey said.

After shooting his older son, Edelmiro Gonzalez then proceeded back to Broadway and chased his wife past a McDonald’s on Madison Avenue, where he shot her once in the shoulder.

People who peeked through the fence adjacent to that rear lot later on Saturday could still see the trail of blood and a bloody rag left behind by the young boy.

Paterson Police Lt. Washington Griffin was picking up breakfast with his young son in the McDonald’s drive-thru lane when he heard the gunshots. Griffin, who was off-duty at the time, emerged from his car, identified himself as a police officer and told Gonzalez to put down the gun, according to Humphrey.

A witness, Will Hayes, said he was in the McDonald’s when it happened.

“I was in here, and I heard the shooting,” he said. “Everybody ducked.”

Hayes said he looked up and saw a man identify himself as a police officer and tell the gunman to stop.

“The guy didn’t, and that’s when he shot him,” Hayes said.

Griffin fired twice, hitting Edelmiro Gonzalez once in the head and once in the right femur, Humphrey said. Griffin and his son did not sustain any injuries.

Edelmiro Gonzalez, who lived on Green Street in Paterson, was carrying two pistols, a .45 and smaller caliber gun, Humphrey said.

“As tragic as it was, it could have been worse,” he said.

Edelmiro Gonzalez, 54, had been separated from his wife for three years. He died at the hospital, Humphrey said.

Hayes said when he left the McDonald’s, he saw the two boys on Broadway. One appeared to be dead, and the other boy’s face was covered in blood, but was still alive. He was taken away in an ambulance, Hayes said.

“Right in front of the salon, the one kid was trying to get up … the other one was face down,” he said. “I started crying.”

The homicide is the 15th in Paterson this year, according to Humphrey. Almost three years ago, a police officer was murdered just feet away from where police found Adrian Gonzalez’s body. Tyron Franklin was off-duty when he was shot multiple times during a robbery at Broadway Fried Chicken.

Mike Rodriguez had not yet begun working at the liquor store on the corner of Broadway and East 18th Street when that happened, but said he has seen plenty of violence in the neighborhood over the last year.

“A lot of shootings – too much,” he said. “The last shooting, they were two of my friends – they were fighting over a girl … a lot of problems around here I guess.”